The Man of the House

2017

When my father died,
My brother decided he’d be the man of the house.
That didn’t mean that he’d help us.
It meant my sisters and I would be his servants.

FULL STORY

Beaten Up For No Reason

2017

I’m the only girl among my siblings.
One time when I was in elementary school,
My parents were going out to buy some stuff,
And they told my older brother
To keep an eye on me and our younger brother until they came back.
My older brother waited for them to come back outside the apartment,
And I waited with him.

FULL STORY

My Greatest Accomplishment

2017

I was always humiliated and beaten up over the most trivial reasons.
He’d hit me and flip the dining table over if there was just a little extra salt in his food.
I was never allowed to open my mouth and give my opinion.
Cooking zucchini was always a frightening experience, because if just one piece of zucchini turned out smaller than the other, it’d be a disaster.

FULL STORY

On the Head

2017

My brother hit me once,
Because I was going to the doctor,
And he didn’t like what I was wearing.
He beat me until my clothes were ripped,
And I was hurt.

FULL STORY

It is Hard to Call Him ‘baba’

2017

I used to tell myself that we’d be better off,
If my mama left him.
We had our share of violence.
We used to get beaten with a belt,
And any other object along the way,
Until I would pee myself.
I still remember when he broke my finger when I was young.
He wouldn’t take me to the hospital for two days,
Thinking it was just a bruise,
Then it turned out to be a fracture.

FULL STORY

I Knew He Was Cheating on Me

2017

I got married after 6 years of being in love.
During that time,
I found out he was cheating on me with the live-in maid,
Who took care of his mother.
I confronted him at first,
but he denied it.

FULL STORY

Give an Inch, Take a Mile

2017

The first time he hit me was the day I found out I was pregnant.
He picked a fight with me when his friend and his wife were having dinner with us,
And I fried the mombar (a kind of sausage dish),
Before the chicken breasts.
He pulled me by my hair,
And dragged me to the stove,
And threatened to set me on fire to get rid of me.

FULL STORY

I Swallow My Tears

2017

If, while baba was beating me, I cried, he’d hit me again for crying.
“If you cry, you’ll get hit. Men don’t cry”, he’d tell me.
Whenever he beat me, my main concern was to not cry.

FULL STORY